In her directorial debut, “Divine Divas,” Brazilian actress Leandra Leal (“A Wolf at the Door”) offers a look into the lives of the pioneer generation of Brazil’s transvestite performers and drag artists of the 1960s. The documentary will premiere this Saturday, March 11, at SXSW.
“Divine Divas” features a group of iconic Brazilian performers from Rio de Janeiro’s Rival Theatre, one of the first venues in the country to embrace trans and drag artists back in the 60s, a time when Brazil was ruled by a military dictatorship. Leal grew up among these performers in the backstage of the club, which was owned by her grandfather, Américo Leal. Using archival footage and performances, as well as recent interviews with the performers, Leal offers a view into their lives and how, by simply performing, they were challenging the conservatism of the time.
“Divine Divas” will screen on Saturday, Sunday and Tuesday at SXSW. Watch the exclusive clip below.